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Mazzspeed

Just bought a 600XL.

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Sometimes I feel like ordering a bunch of 4464, ls158 and ls375 and sell the kit pre-cooked, i.e. the two wires soldered. I guess I would be beneficial to the community... And help people afraid of making a mess, even though there's no way of making any mess if you solder to the chips pins. 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, manterola said:

Sometimes I feel like ordering a bunch of 4464, ls158 and ls375 and sell the kit pre-cooked, i.e. the two wires soldered. I guess I would be beneficial to the community... And help people afraid of making a mess, even though there's no way of making any mess if you solder to the chips pins.

 

While I agree with you in theory, Lotharek's 64KB SRAM module appears to have made doing this upgrade about as simple (and inexpensive) as it can get.  Not that what you're proposing wouldn't do the same, but can it compete against his design?

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22 hours ago, Mazzspeed said:

Does anyone know what DRAM's I need to upgrade to 64k and know of a reputable supplier?

I just got mine from someone on eBay.

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How odd, was just reading about the 'new' Atari 600XL this morning with my coffee in an issue of TV Gamer I randomly pulled from the bookshelf. 

 

After reading it (it's the issue with Battlezone VCS style on the cover) and getting nostalgic about those times I thought I should start using one of my most prized Atari 8bit items in my collection and do a sort of unboxing video of my lovely mint in mint box 800XL retail high street packaging....sorry I don't have an Atari 600XL.

 

What TV/monitor models match the styling of the 600/800XL the best would you say?

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1 hour ago, Asaki said:

I just got mine from someone on eBay.

Yep.. You can get 4 or 5 chips for few dollars...  Worst case scenario,  all 5 are bad which I don't think it will happen. I my case I later used those extra chips to transform a 65xe (with 130xe motherboard) to 128kb.

 

 

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5 hours ago, manterola said:

Sometimes I feel like ordering a bunch of 4464, ls158 and ls375 and sell the kit pre-cooked, i.e. the two wires soldered. I guess I would be beneficial to the community... And help people afraid of making a mess, even though there's no way of making any mess if you solder to the chips pins. 

 

 

I'm more than capable of doing the work required, that's not the problem. Once I get the 600XL I may decide to do just that.

 

I'll wait until I get the device and work from there...

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On 3/6/2021 at 6:42 PM, bfollowell said:

I can vouch for Lotharek's 64K SRAM upgrade too. It's really easy to install and looks a little cleaner with just the one wire to solder in. Either way, upgrading to 64K is a must before installing an U1MB unless you plan to wait for the external version to arrive.

 

Well, but the upgrade with DRAM chips is also very easy and cheap. When you use the 64 KB SRAM update from Lotharek, the CPU "expansion space" is blocked due to the height limits in the 600XL. So I would prefer doing the DRAM mod with two 41464 chips and three simple wires.

 

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9 hours ago, tf_hh said:

 

Well, but the upgrade with DRAM chips is also very easy and cheap. When you use the 64 KB SRAM update from Lotharek, the CPU "expansion space" is blocked due to the height limits in the 600XL. So I would prefer doing the DRAM mod with two 41464 chips and three simple wires.

 

Ah, OK. How would the expansion space being blocked affect me?

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9 hours ago, tf_hh said:

 

Well, but the upgrade with DRAM chips is also very easy and cheap. When you use the 64 KB SRAM update from Lotharek, the CPU "expansion space" is blocked due to the height limits in the 600XL. So I would prefer doing the DRAM mod with two 41464 chips and three simple wires.

 

 

I'm trying to remember what else may plug into the CPUY slot? Rapidus? That's pretty much been proven to be fairly incompatible with the U1MB for most people and, at least for me, if we can only have one of those, the U1MB wins hands down.

 

What else uses it?

 

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1 hour ago, bfollowell said:

 

I'm trying to remember what else may plug into the CPUY slot? Rapidus? That's pretty much been proven to be fairly incompatible with the U1MB for most people and, at least for me, if we can only have one of those, the U1MB wins hands down.

 

What else uses it?

 

That's what I'm thinking. If it's just Rapidus I don't really care as it doesn't work with U1MB and I'm not really interested in a faster processor anyway.

 

Every time I've implemented some form of CPU upgrade on an 8bit platform for increased speeds, it's resulted in compatibility issues and generally more trouble than they're worth.

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43 minutes ago, Mazzspeed said:

Every time I've implemented some form of CPU upgrade on an 8bit platform for increased speeds, it's resulted in compatibility issues and generally more trouble than they're worth.

 

My thoughts exactly, at least from what I've read, not from personal experience.

 

Beyond U1MB, some sort of hard drive, better video, a multi-cart, and a FujiNet, I have no desires for any other upgrades. At least so far...

 

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1 hour ago, bfollowell said:

 

My thoughts exactly, at least from what I've read, not from personal experience.

 

Beyond U1MB, some sort of hard drive, better video, a multi-cart, and a FujiNet, I have no desires for any other upgrades. At least so far...

 

Totally.

 

Assuming I have no plans to fit Rapidus, I don't see the height being that much of an issue. However, I have no problem simply replacing RAM chips and soldering a few legs with three wires...I'll wait until I get the beast, then I'll start making decisions.

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41 minutes ago, Mazzspeed said:

Totally.

 

Assuming I have no plans to fit Rapidus, I don't see the height being that much of an issue. However, I have no problem simply replacing RAM chips and soldering a few legs with three wires...I'll wait until I get the beast, then I'll start making decisions.

 

Yeah, either one works great. I just thought that the SRAM upgrade looked a little cleaner with only one wire soldered in, and I thought the SRAM more likely to last than the old style RAM I would've used if I went the other route. In all likelihood though, they'll all probably outlast me!

 

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20 hours ago, Mazzspeed said:

Ah, OK. How would the expansion space being blocked affect me?

 

Antonia would be a perfect choice.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, tf_hh said:

 

Antonia would be a perfect choice.

 

I don't really want a CPU upgrade, SDX would be of more benefit to myself. Thank you for the comments though, an interesting bit of kit.

Edited by Mazzspeed

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2 hours ago, tf_hh said:

Antonia would be a perfect choice.

I have an ANTONIA in one of my 600XLs.  I really like it and, because it doesn't require the 64K upgrade first (like the U1MB does), I think that it is just about the perfect upgrade for the 600XL.  

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Posted (edited)

Well, the new 600XL arrived, packed amazingly well (like, really well packed) which is always appreciated, and is in pretty good nick for a 30yo machine I think!

 

I haven't even powered it up yet (need to make up a power lead), and I've already stripped it down for a bit of a tidy up. There will be more pics to come, the keys are already cleaned to perfection, I need to sand and polish the console keys and polish the clear perspex cover. I also want to clean up the cartridge port barn doors.

 

In relation to retrobrighting the white parts of the casing, what do people do with the badge? Is there a way to remove it without mangling it, or do you just mask it up somehow? I'm open to advice, as I know that the Amiga 4000 case badges used to get stripped of all color if the casing was retrobrighted with the badge attached and uncovered.

 

Once I'm certain everything is in working order I'll start ordering upgrades and a couple of fresh, modern sockets of better quality than 80s sockets.

 

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Yes, that's sitting on the new head for my Mazdaspeed 3/MPS forged engine...Anyone that thinks retro computing is expensive needs to get into cars. Up to almost 10k in engine parts and machining so far.

 

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Edited by Mazzspeed
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Do you have lot of upgrades planned for it or plan to do a lot of prototyping or experimenting on the board? I mean, I'm troubleshooting my old, original 800XL, and the only chips that were socketed were the memory and the big 40-pin chips, so I'm installing new sockets for all the unsocketed chips and I replaced the 40-pin sockets with precision sockets, but replacing all the sockets on an already fully-socketed board seems a little overkill unless you're having issues or see yourself removing and reinserting the chips a lot. That's just my opinion though. She's your baby, so you do what you want.

 

She is pretty though. It doesn't look like she needs a lot of cleanup. She should be looking brand-new and just out-of-the-box soon.

 

Good luck and here's hoping she powers up on the first try.

 

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3 hours ago, Mazzspeed said:

Yes, that's sitting on the new head for my Mazdaspeed 3/MPS forged engine...Anyone that thinks retro computing is expensive needs to get into cars. Up to almost 10k in engine parts and machining so far.

This.  And let's not forget what it costs to build out a 4x4.  Never, EVER look at past receipts unless you need to return an item.  Just don't do it.

 

And glad you finally got the 600XL :-D

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4 hours ago, Mazzspeed said:

In relation to retrobrighting the white parts of the casing, what do people do with the badge? Is there a way to remove it without mangling it, or do you just mask it up somehow? I'm open to advice, as I know that the Amiga 4000 case badges used to get stripped of all color if the casing was retrobrighted with the badge attached and uncovered.

Mask it up unless it needs removing (if it's bent or falling off, etc); if it needs to be removed, use a hair dryer or hot air station to very carefully heat up the metal without melting the surrounding plastic, and slide a scalpel blade under the badge at the shallowest possible angle, cutting through the adhesive along the length of the badge. You want it to come off flat, because if it gets kinked, said kinks ain't coming out.

 

I have to wonder if this case needs Peroxide treatment at all, though, although the naked eye is always more honest than a photograph.

 

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On 3/6/2021 at 6:49 PM, oky2000 said:

What TV/monitor models match the styling of the 600/800XL the best would you say?

The Commodore monitors are pretty much the gold standard. Something like a 1702 or 1802, although other models would work, too. Beige styling is a somewhat close match, but a bit darker. But they're really good monitors.

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31 minutes ago, gollumer said:

The Commodore monitors are pretty much the gold standard. Something like a 1702 or 1802, although other models would work, too. Beige styling is a somewhat close match, but a bit darker. But they're really good monitors.

How about an Amiga

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I never understand it, the Commodore 1702 monitors have never been the Gold standard... they have never produced as good of a picture as most other Monitors that were freshly made and new at the time... Even some television sets gave better defined no moire picture at that time.

Let's be honest, the Commodore monitors were simply cheap and available and beat the pants off of whatever ancient television, possibly black and white, or abandoned monitor someone could nab for little cabbage. The never held a candle to some of the very nice NEC, monitors that's for darn sure. Some of the other brands just had much better masks and dot pitch.

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2 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

I never understand it, the Commodore 1702 monitors have never been the Gold standard... they have never produced as good of a picture as most other Monitors that were freshly made and new at the time... Even some television sets gave better defined no moire picture at that time.

Let's be honest, the Commodore monitors were simply cheap and available and beat the pants off of whatever ancient television, possibly black and white, or abandoned monitor someone could nab for little cabbage. The never held a candle to some of the very nice NEC, monitors that's for darn sure. Some of the other brands just had much better masks and dot pitch.

Gold standard in the sense that now, many years later, they're fairly readily available, and they have the right connections for UAV equipped Atari 8-bits. A LOT of folks, who don't want to use more modern flat-screen monitors, use the Commodore monitors with their Atari's. That's what I meant by gold standard.

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40 minutes ago, gollumer said:

Gold standard in the sense that now, many years later, they're fairly readily available, and they have the right connections for UAV equipped Atari 8-bits. A LOT of folks, who don't want to use more modern flat-screen monitors, use the Commodore monitors with their Atari's. That's what I meant by gold standard.

It was a great monitor for the time. Was it the best money could buy, no... And except for the few fortunate to have been born in a rich family, no one bought top of the line color TV of fancy fine pitch monitors for their kids to hook up a C65 or an Atari 8bit. Most of us made do with second hand fuzzy B/W or beat up color TV. The 1702 was way better than what most of us had. The 1080/84 were also great. I used mine up until 2010 to watch TV on in my home office with an old VHS as a tuner.

 

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